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May 11th, 2014

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Saudi graft inquiry spreads beyond borders as UAE examines bank accounts

Gulf Arab currencies down slightly vs dlr buy canada goose jacket cheap in forwards market

By Stanley Carvalho and Tom Arnold

ABU DHABI/DUBAI, Nov 9 (Reuters) Saudi Arabia crackdown canada goose uk shop on corruption has spread beyond its borders as regulators in the United Arab Emirates ask UAE banks for information about Saudi citizens detained in the investigation, a Canada Goose Coats On Sale possible prelude to freezing their accounts.

The UAE central bank has requested commercial banks and finance companies canada goose uk black friday in the UAE Canada Goose online to provide details of the accounts of 19 Saudis, commercial bankers told Reuters on Thursday, declining to be named because of the canada goose factory sale sensitivity of the matter.

Almost all of the 19, including billionaire Prince Canada Goose sale Alwaleed bin Talal cheap canada goose uk and former National Guard chief canada goose uk outlet Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, are known to be among dozens of senior officials canada goose coats canada goose outlet toronto factory on sale and businessmen detained Canada Goose Parka in the corruption inquiry.

Central Canada Goose Outlet bank officials in the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, were not available to comment, and Saudi officials in Riyadh, who have frozen over 1,700 domestic bank accounts as part of the crackdown, canada goose black friday sale did not respond to canadian goose jacket requests for comment.

The UAE, particularly its most commercially prominent emirate Dubai, canada goose coats is one of the main cheap Canada Goose places where wealthy Saudis park their money abroad. In addition to bank accounts, they buy luxury apartments and villas in Dubai and invest in the emirate volatile stock market.

Huge amounts of money may be at stake. Corruption has over the canada goose clearance sale years siphoned off $800 billion from Saudi state revenues, an official at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry has estimated; bankers believe much of it is held abroad, in countries including Switzerland and Britain.

ASSETS SOLD Some wealthy Saudi individuals have uk canada goose outlet been liquidating assets within Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf countries this week, apparently in an canada goose store effort to move money out of canada goose the region and escape the crackdown, private bankers and fund managers said.

In Riyadh, rich individual investors have been selling equities heavily, although buying by state linked funds has helped to support the market. In Dubai, shares in real estate developers have sunk as investors worry about the impact on the property market of a pull out by Saudis.

The UAE commercial bankers said they had not been asked to freeze the Saudi accounts at their institutions, but they believed the central bank request for information might be a prelude to such action.

The risk canada goose clearance of the accounts being Canada Goose Jackets frozen Dubai pitch as a private banking centre said a Gulf based banker, adding: in the UAE are full of Saudi money.

One senior banker at an international bank with business in Saudi Arabia said his institution uk canada goose had already frozen some accounts, both inside the kingdom and buy canada goose jacket outside it, in response to Saudi government requests.

The bank is conducting its own investigations into accounts linked to people who have been detained, the banker said without elaborating.

Another banker in the region said his institution was receiving more enquiries from Saudi clients about cross border financial transactions, but it was handling the enquiries with extreme caution as there could be further action by Canada Goose Online regulators.

The Saudi riyal dropped as low as 285 points in the one year forwards market on Thursday implying riyal depreciation of about 0.8 percent against the dollar in the next 12 months from around 115 points before the crackdown.

However, it remains much stronger than it was last year, when it hit levels around 1,000 points because of worries about Saudi Arabia ability to cope with an era of low oil prices. (Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar in Dubai and Lawrence White in London; Writing by Andrew Torchia, Editing by William Maclean).

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